The Jacksonville Jaguars for now appear to be willing to give quarterback Blaine Gabbert another shot at the starting position, which really shouldn't be all that surprising. An interesting surprise however is the fact that new Jaguars quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo thinks Gabbert would be the top quarterback in the 2013 NFL Draft if he had stayed all five seasons at Missouri.
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"If you graded him out right now, this is his draft class. If he were coming out and the quarterback draft class the way it is, would he be the top guy taken? I think the answer is yes," Scelfo told the media at a press conference on Tuesday. "Ask the scouting departments and the general managers around the league and I think you would end up with a yes on that. Basically at his age, 23, the number-one pick in the draft with two years of experience already under his belt. That's pretty good.''
These comments by Sceflo of course immediately were met with a scoff and ridicule, but he's not necessarily incorrect. The problem with saying things like this is most people can't remove the hindsight from the speculation. In the 2011 NFL Draft, Gabbert was in talks of being the top quarterback drafted and went 10th overall, so why is it so crazy to say he'd be in talks as the top quarterback class that many experts have panned as a bad quarterback class?
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If you remove the hindsight and what we know about Gabbert already in the NFL, the comment makes perfect sense. As a prospect, Gabbert has just about everything a team looks for in an NFL quarterback. He's big, athletic, and has a strong arm. He's smart, in terms of picking up an offense, but his decision making and pocket presence leave a lot to be desired. You can describe plenty of the quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL Draft the same way, so why is it such a stupid thing to say?
It's simply because we struggle with removing what we already know from the speculation.
Now, this isn't to say Gabbert will be better than any of the quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL Draft, but saying as a prospect he might be the top quarterback in the class isn't all that crazy.
I still expect the Jaguars to sign a quarterback in free agency as well as draft one to compete with Gabbert in training camp, however.